Saturday, September 17, 2016

Caramel Pear Cheesecake Dessert

I made this decadent dessert for our neighbors.  needless to say, they loved it.
Caramel Pear Cheesecake Trifle
Ingredients
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
5 Bartlett pears ( large, slightly underripe); peeled, cored
and diced
1 cup vanilla bean and Fleur de Sel Caramel sauce (recipe is below)
1 tsp gelatin ( unfavored powdered)
16 ozs  cream cheese- room temperature
3 cups heavy cream
8 ozs gingersnap cookies
  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the diced pears. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 8 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pears are tender, 5 minutes. Scrape the pears onto a plate and refrigerate until cool.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Microwave at high power for 5 seconds, just until the gelatin is melted. Transfer the gelatin mixture to a bowl and add the cream cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup of caramel sauce. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3.  In another bowl, whip 1 1/2 cups of the cream until firm peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture
  4.   Spoon one-fourth of the mousse into a medium trifle bowl. Top with one-fourth of the gingersnaps and one-fourth of the pears. Repeat the layering, ending with a layer of pears. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  
5.   In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream until soft peaks form. Dollop the cream over the trifle and garnish with crushed gingersnaps. 
Vanilla Bean and Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce 
  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  4. 1 cup heavy cream
  5. 1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel
  1. Put the sugar in a large saucepan and pour the water all around. Add the vanilla bean and seeds and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals from the side of the pan. Cook without stirring until a deep-amber caramel forms, about 5 minutes. Gently swirl the pan to color the caramel evenly.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream. When the bubbling subsides, bring the sauce to a boil and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the hardened caramel is dissolved. Discard the vanilla bean. Stir in the fleur de sel and let cool.
3 Berry Trifle
Another favorite is the 3 Berry Trifle This recipe is from Martha Stewart and you can find it here Instead of cranberries, I used a bag of: three kinds of berries. I purchased the bag at Costco Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. You can use pound cake, angel food cake or yellow cake.  Your family and guests will love these desserts.  They serve around 12 people each.
Merry Christmas everyone! We are wishing you all  the best for this season. May the new year be prosperous, healthy and full of blessings.

Pumpkin Streusel Pancakes

If you love pumpkin, then these pumpkin pancakes will make your mouth water.  They could
also be served as dessert, because they are so decadent.
Being Fall in all, it's the perfect time of year to make these yummy pancakes.
I have been thinking about pumpkin for quite some time now.
I served them with maple syrup and 1/3 of  a cream cheese package.  I melted the
mixture in the microwave for a few minutes.
Here's the recipe:
Serves 4 
Ingredients:
Cinnamon Streusel:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed 
1 teaspoon cinnamon
6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Pancake Batter:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
1. Make the streusel first.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar,
cinnamon, and butter.  Mix together with your hands or fork until crumbly.
Set aside for now.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.  Set aside.
3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, egg, pumpkin, canola oil, and vanilla extract.
Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and whisk until combined.
4.  Heat a griddle or pan to medium low.  Coat with cooking spray.  Drop 1/3 cup of the  batter onto heated pan.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of the streusel mixture.  Cook on the first side until bubbles begin to form, about 2-3 minutes.  Carefully flip pancake over and cook for another 2 minutes.
Serve Pancakes warm with the cream cheese mixture or maple syrup and enjoy!
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Tres Leche Cake

We were recently invited for dinner at some friend's house.  The theme was Spanish.  Everyone chipped in and brought something.  I was asked to bring a Spanish dessert, so I chose Tres Leche cake.
This cake is very moist with 3 different milks.....that's where the Tres Leche comes in......  The icing is cream cheese and whipped cream, plus sliced strawberries.
print recipe
Tres Leche Cake
a Spanish themed Moist cake
Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 oz evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 package and half cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350° 2. Grease and flour a 9x13- inch baking pan 3. Beat 6 egg whites until fluffy; set egg yolks aside. Gradually beat in sugar until mixture holds soft peaks. Beat in flour gradually. then beat in milk, reserved egg yolks, melted butter, 4 teaspoons vanilla, and baking powder, beating in each ingredient thoroughly before adding the next. Pour batter into prepared baking pan. 4. Bake in preheated oven until cake is browned and crusty on no more than 30 minutes. let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes 5. Whisk sweetened condensed milk. evaporated milk, and half and half in a bowl. Pour the 3-milk mixture into a pan deeper and longer than the cake. Lay the cake into the milk mixture. Use a fork to poke holes in and pour the remaining 3-milk mixture over the cake, allowing the mixture to soak in. 6. Beat cream cheese with 1 teaspoons vanilla in bowl with electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Gradually beat in cream until frosting is thick and spreadable. Spread over cake. I then added sliced strawberries. Enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 9x13 pan
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Chunky Monkey Dessert

We hosted another dinner party down by the pool again for some of our friends. I made this dessert for another dinner party and it was a big hit.  I added bananas for more flavor. I thought it would be good to make this for this particular group of friends.  I love how you can make it the day before.
To make this more fun, I made chocolate monkey sugar cookies that hang off the side of the dessert dish.  
I found the cookie cutter on Amazon. You can find it here.
Walkway down to pool. We have trumpet vines growing on our arbors.
I used the same melamine dishes, because they are light weight and easy to carry and put away. We have some beautiful sunsets.  Our bar area is great for sipping cocktails and taking in the sunset.
It's been a busy week with doctor's appointments. My biopsy is normal. My thumb has been really hurting, so I had an x-ray. It seems I have thinning cartilage and arthritis. The perils of getting older. I also had a bone density scan....thyroid blood panels, pneumonia shot plus my very important Ca-125 blood test. I have urged many of you to request this test. It is a marker for ovarian cancer. Just a precaution.  Have a wonderful week.
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Blueberry Cheesecake Sandwiches

Did you know that blueberries are only 100 years young? Blueberries are one of the few fruits native to America.  Blueberries are a  wonderful source of Vitamin C.   As we all know, Vitamin C is necessary for growth and development of tissues . A great antioxidant as well!  Another added bonus is, they help improve memory.  Let's get to my dessert made with fresh blueberries,  of course, I had to slip in some dark chocolate, which is also a great antioxidant.  See, healthy desserts!
Yes, graham crackers are used in this simple dessert.  Imagine how many different flavors we can use to create these sweet babies. We feel like we are eating healthy yummy desserts.  My husband told me last night, he loved these. Delicious! Just look at the added benefits!
I love the addition of dark chocolate.  I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate.   

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Creamy Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Since the weather is cooling a little, I thought I would make some homemade yummy Potato soup with broccoli and cheddar. My husband really enjoys the Panera  Bread soup.  My soups are almost like a chowder, creamy, rich and full of veggies.  Very much comfort food with some lovely sourdough bread.
Yesterday my husband and I visited another neighbor who is recovering from back surgery. He gets to go home tomorrow.  He  loves soup, so I wanted to bring him some of this soup. Well, update, our neighbor is home.  My husband and I drove our Gator vehicle over to visit him and take him some homemade soup, fresh bread and the apple dessert I made. He was very thankful.  While we were there, he said his tv was not working.  So my husband took a look.  After a bit, he figured out it was on the wrong setting. TV once again! Rosie's Owner is coming home on Thursday.  I am sure Rosie will be happy to be home and see her owner, Sharon. While Sharon was away, I created a photo book for her recently deceased husband, John's memories. It was easy to do.  This time I used Walgreens, which was created online and It could be picked up the same day.
yield: 12 servingsprint recipe
Creamy Potato, Broccoli Cheddar Soup
A loaded potato soup with broccoli and cheese
prep time: 15 MINScook time: 20 MINStotal time: 35 mins

INGREDIENTS:

  • 20 small potatoes -peeled and cubed
  • 1 onion- chopped
  • salt & pepper to season
  • 3 carrots - peeled and chopped
  • 32 oz vegetable stock
  • 3 cups broccoli florets - chopped
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 cups of cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large pot, combine vegetable broth, carrots and onions. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the veggies are for tender. Add broccoli and simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt butter, add flour, whisk and cook until golden brown. Whisk in milk and cook for about 5 minutes. Add cheese to mixture and stir until melted. Season with salt & pepper. Pour cheese mixture into the potato mixture and combine. If needed, add more milk or vegetable broth.
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